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The Foursome


“This splendid new novel…when he writes about class and tribalism, he does so with perfect pitch. Spooner is sometimes funny, often smart, but always wise.”

This is a novel about two great American Games – golf and success.

In a rush of memory, wistful and funny and piercingly accurate, John Spooner carries us to the snug little Boston suburb of “Brookwood” in the 1950’s, to the start of the journey of four upwardly mobile young men.  They are different in their family backgrounds but united in their ambition – they are perfect children of their time.

Starting their careers as caddies, the four boys become lifelong friends and golfing companions, bound together by a fierce competitiveness and by a childhood secret that won’t let go of their imaginations.  Ceremonially, they hold five-year reunion golf tourneys, striving to best one another not only at golf but at money and women.

Dickie Rosenberg, Duke Hennesey, Freddy Temple, and Stan Singer: no one looking at these winsome boys could have foreseen the millionaires they would become – a clothing manufacturer, a real estate developer, a venture capitalist, a movie mogul.  Yet they learned their lessons early, and their twists and turns of character, their desires, their fatal flaws, were present in childhood.  We watch them grow into adults with a sense of inevitability that is still tinged with sadness.

Spanning forty years of American life, The Foursome brings us face to face with the sort of men who are now at the peak of their corporate careers, the men who run American business.  The members of the foursome, for all their privilege and success, remain driven and self-doubting.  This is a novel rich in social comedy, with a serious undercurrent that reveals much about an entire generation of men – written by a superbly perceptive student of upper-middle-class America,

“This novel vividly reminds us that John Spooner is, quite simply, one of the best writers in America.”

Robert Parker, Author of the Spenser series

“A fine Foursome.”

The New York Times

“This splendid new novel…when he writes about class and tribalism, he does so with perfect pitch. Spooner is sometimes funny, often smart, but always wise.”

Charles Kenny

The Boston Globe